Hall County Sheriff’s deputies responded on Sunday at 11:57 p.m. to a one-vehicle accident one-mile east of the Wood River-Interstate 80 interchange for a semi accident. Upon arrival, deputies observed a semi-truck and trailer laying on its side in the median and it appeared to them the top of the box trailer ripped open on impact, causing boxes and containers inside the trailer to scatter in the median. The trailer was carrying hazardous chemicals that began to leak upon impact. The contents were determined by the Nebraska Department of Environmental Quality to be herbicides and pesticides.
The Nebraska State Patrol hazmat team and members of the Nebraska Department of Environmental Quality were called to the scene to assist with the cleanup.
The driver of the semi, 51-year-old Michael Clark of Council Bluffs, Iowa, was transported to CHI Saint Francis for minor injuries from the accident and for exposure to the chemicals. He was then arrested and booked into the Hall County Jail for driving under the influence of alcohol.
The westbound passing lane of Interstate 80 at miler marker 301 was shut down after the accident but traffic was diverted to the driving lane during cleanup. The Hall County Sheriff’s Department was also assisted by Wood River Fire and Rescue and Grand Island Fire and Hazmat.